Indonesia| Sarangan Lake and the monkeys of Magetan

Sarangan Lake is situated at the southern slope of Mount Lawu, an inactive stratovolcano in the hilly district of Plaosan, Magetan Regency in Indonesia. From downtown Magetan, you will travel 16 kilometers west passing halfway between Maduin and Solo route.  Sarangan Lakes is sitting 1,287 meters elevation, so pack your thick clothes because you would be experienced chilly weather here especially in the morning and afternoon. No wonder why Sarangan Lake is one of the most visit tourist attractions in the regency and listed as a favorite spot by the Dutch people during colonial days.

Sarangan Lake or known by locals as Telaga Serangan or Pasir Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Java Island by Wonderful Indonesia Tourism.  This lake covering 30 hectares with 28 meters deep while the climate drops between 18 - 25 Celsius. At night, Sarangan will be covered by fogs most time which is quite challenging for those who love traveling after dark.

If you wish to stay and experience its unique scenery, several selections of hotel resorts in the Area offering affordable room rate from 150,000 rupiahs (US$11) up to 700,000 rupiahs ((US$50). Sarangan is very accessible for both public and private vehicles but expects the hilly ride in winding up and down the scene with a smooth and pave road condition. Traveling at night would be quite dark with little foggy and freezing climate would be experienced.

Entrance fee is 19,000 (US$1.40) rupiah for Adult while 14,000 (US$1) for children including the Jasa Raharja insurance will be payable at the entrance booth. The parking fee for the scooter is 2,000 rupiah while 5,000 rupiahs will be charged for 4 wheel vehicles. 

One of the highlights that can be enjoyed inside Sarangan is by riding the speed boat.  Strolling around the lake waters will cost 50,000 rupiahs (less than US$4) for one or a make 150,000 (US$11) package deal good for 3-4 people. This ride might not be relaxing but an overwhelming adrenaline rush experiences since the full speed and several tricks will be made by the boat captain.

If you’re afraid of water, other ways of strolling around the lake are by horseback riding which costs you 50,000 rupiahs (US$11). Although you may not enjoy the lake waters, the scenery of the surroundings will take you from another level of your vacation experience in this place plus numerous good spots can be explored around the area. 

Watch out for the friendly monkeys which normally found on the Lakes side and hanging on the trees. Monkeys are very friendly and seem like they enjoying the lakes while engaging with tourists becoming their normal life.  There are more than 50 monkeys around the area according to the guide; they regularly came down to the lake area in searching for food. Bringing one of their favorites would be good for them. Monkeys are tame, take a selfie with them if you have a chance.

Food is relatively cheap in Sarangan Lakes Area. Most of the small stalls served locally and traditional dishes. Try some of the special Sate Klenci (meat from the rabbit), sate Kambing (goat’s meat satay) and Sate Ayam (chicken satay) and partnered with grilled corn or traditional rice called Lontong.   Numerous small food entrepreneurs roving around the lakes offer ready to eat like Nasi Pecel (a mix of vegetables with white rice and peanut sauce).   

To end the trip to Sarangan, there are souvenir shops the can buy " Oleh Oleh" like locally produced products.  Explore the traditional market, some stalls selling clothes, fresh fruits, batik (traditional clothes) and handmade leather products like shoes, sandals, jackets, and bags at cheaper price.  If you wish to look more leather products, then, head on to Jalan Sawo Magetan.


The closest airport going to Magetan is in Yogyakarta (Adisucipto International Airport), Solo in Central Java (Adisumarmo International Airport), and Surabaya in East Java (Juanda International Airport). 

If you’re from Surabaya, you can reach Magetan by Train (Turangga) from Gubeng Station going to Maduin. The train ticket is 140,000 rupiahs ($10) for an economy seats up to 270,000 ($20) for an executive class with an estimated journey of 3.5 hours to Maduin station. Book here

And if you’re from Yogyakarta, catch up on a train schedule at Yogyakarta Station going to Madiun Station. Travel time estimated 3 hours with a ticket price ranging 140,000  rupiahs ($10) up to 375,000 rupiahs ($27) going to Madiun Station. Book here

At Madiun Station
The fastest way to reach Sarangan Lake is to rent a car and driver or download/use the Grab App if you have it. Magetan is about 35 minutes ride from Maduin, then another 15-25 minutes extra ride from downtown Magetan to Sarangan Lake.

Backpacking Guide
For Backpackers and for those who loved traveling using the local transportation system,  Buses bound for Magetan has a limited schedule daily. At first, take a ride going to Maduin Bus Terminal and catch up on a Bus going to Magetan, then, get off to Magetan Bus Terminal. Bus fare cost 75,000 ($5) to 90,000 rupiahs ($7) with more or less 3 hours journey.

At the Magetan Bus terminal, look for a lane bound for Sarangan Lake or hire a scooter to reach the Sarangan Lake. You can also use the Grab App in Magetan City for both Car and scooter.

If you’re from Solo/ Surakarta,  you can book an arranged tour online at Melampa Tour 



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